Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

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Tales from the patriarchy

The way of properly learning a language is to do what languages are made for: use it. Ideally, live your usual life, do whatever it is you like doing, and just try to find a way to insert that language you’re learning into your daily routine. So if, say, you like movies, and you’re learning Persian, well, stop watching Hollywood crap and go pick up some Persian movies.

I get asked about books on Chinese history, and I tend not to know what to say. I haven’t read a lot of Chinese history books in English. Certainly not any general ones. I read China in World History by Adshead after Steve Sailer recommended it. It’s a fascinating book, not very accurate, but a fun read for beginners, so I do recommend it too. Generally speaking most English books on China are pretty bad, and badly written. With the exception of Frederick Wakeman’s, which are awesome.

What I often do to read up on Chinese history is watch a historical TV show, then stop anytime something bugs me and go check out the primary sources out there in Wikisource. If the thing is interesting I check out 知乎, China’s much improved version of Quora, where they have detailed explanations and book recommendations. If the topic is interesting enough I get the (Chinese-language) book.

There’s a recent TV show in China about 司馬懿 Sima Yi, one of the most important leaders of the Three Kingdoms period. The whole period, which lasted about 100 years, 180 to 280 AD, is the most written about in the history of China, mostly because of the sheer force of personality of the men of the time. Dozens upon dozens of great warriors and statesmen. Sima Yi wasn’t the most colorful of them, but arguably he was the guy who won the game. He was a quiet minister of the northern kingdom, Cao Wei, where he served and outlived three emperors. The guy was so good at anything he did, so influential that part of the imperial family decided to get rid of him, lest he took power for himself and made a puppet of the imperial court. He let the court take away all his power for 10 years. Then out of the blue he run a coup d’etat, where… he took power for himself and made a puppet of the imperial court. At 72 year old he executed thousands upon thousands of imperial kinsmen. Then he died. His soon took over, then died. Then his grandson decided to do away with the charade and took the throne for himself. He then started the 晉 Jin Dynasty.

map_of_three_kingdoms

So anyway, the show is pretty good. But it’s of course adapted to modern sensitivities. But not so much, I was very surprised to see a scene where he kills the whole family of his main rival in the coup, 曹爽 Cao Shuang. The usual penalty for treason in China was 夷三族, “leveling of the three families”. There are conflicting records on which three families this referred to, but basically it meant killing the whole extended family, clients included. So all wives, brothers, children, parents, uncles and aunts. All beheaded, if possible together. The scene in the series shows Cao Shuang’s 3 year old son, tied up in white clothes, in front of the beheading platform. They don’t show his head being cut off, of course, but the mere sight of a 3 year old boy in front of a beheading platform would get most housewives in the West calling for their smelling salts and yelling at social media.

Anyway, kudos for China for their accuracy in that front. Shame on China for their lack of accuracy in what remains, in my view, the still biggest and most encroached area of progressive influence in modern China. Women. I write a lot about how Islam is a better deal for Men than Western culture, which is why Muslim immigrants refuse to integrate, and in fact radicalize further in their faith after moving to the West. But if Islam is a good deal, old Chinese culture was the freaking lottery. Polygamy among the gentry in China was not only legal: it was expected. And there was no limit to the number of wives you could acquire. Girls were sold as property at 13-15 years old, and no self-respecting men would not get a new wife every 5-10 years if he could afford to.

Of course having too many wives was frowned upon. It was a sign of lack of seriousness. Women are something men like, but men should like other things more, manly things. Warfare and government. Reading and the arts. Women were entertainment, who also happened to produce children, which are always nice to have, as they make heirs, and daughters which you can give to you friends’ sons.

It is unconceivable that a man of the stature of Sima Yi would not have a handful of wives. And indeed he had, four of them in total. His first wife, Lady 張 Zhang, is said to have had a temper. That means that… she had a temper. In the TV show though, tailored to modern sensitivities, for commercial reasons if only, as most TV show viewers are women, Lady Zhang is a kung-fu master who accompanies her mild-mannered husband at war, does ninja work to help him in his conspiracies, and basically runs the household with an iron clit. Amazingly (progress!) the show has Sima Yi welcome a second wife. The show makes it look like the emperor forces upon him a second wife, Lady 柏 Bai to spy on him, and that makes his first wife, Lady Zhang, to flare up in outraged fury. How dare you get a second wife! A good 5 episodes are dedicated to this story. But she eventually accepts the fact and they get along together, the second wife being super smart or something.

Which I guess it’s great fun for modern housewives, who like soap operas of women fighting for status. But as a historical show, the whole premise is ridiculous in the extreme. First of all, Lady Bai was his fourth wife. That’s 4 women. Second, Lady Zhang was just some boring housewife with a temper, no super ninja. Third, while Chinese wives were indeed never happy about their husbands getting another wife, there was nothing they could do about it. Ancient China didn’t recognize divorce, but wives nagging about concubines was one of the few cases where it was granted. Lady Zhang, first wife, may indeed have given shit to Sima Yi about it, but only so much of it, and the idea that Sima Yi would be apologetic about it, that he would feel sorry about getting a younger and hotter wife, is just preposterous.

Don’t take my word about it though, the official history of the Jin Dynasty says it for me. The historian in charge was funny enough to add this piece of domestic life of Sima Yi.

其後柏夫人有寵,后罕得進見。帝嘗臥疾,后往省病。帝曰:「老物可憎,何煩出也!」后慚恚不食,將自殺,諸子亦不食。帝驚而致謝,后乃止。帝退而謂人曰:「老物不足惜,慮困我好兒耳!」

Sima Yi spent more time with Lady Bai; Lady Zhang hardly ever saw him anymore. One day, Sima Yi was sick, lying in bad, and Lady Zhang went to see him. Sima Yi saw her and said: “You annoying old thing, why did you bother coming out?”. Lady Zhang was so angry and embarrassed that she stopped eating, and was going to kill herself. All her children [note: the elder, most legitimate heirs of him] stopped eating too. Sima Yi was startled and went to apologize, so she stopped (started to eat again). Sima Yi then left and told his men: “the old thing doesn’t deserve pity, what bothered me was my poor good boys!”.

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This anecdote is not only funny today; it was funny even then, as it takes 3 lines of the 8 total lines that Lady Zhang, posthumous empress, got in the official history. I love how he called her, 老物, “old thing”. Plenty to comment here: wives being annoying in any time and any social stratum, wives using their children as weapons in order to get what they want. Human nature.

Sima Yi was a huge prick, unlike the mild gentle man he is in this TV show. In previous renditions he’s written more accurately. But hey, he founded a dynasty, he was the towering general and statesman of the most tumultuous and interesting era in 5000 years of China. Of course he was a prick.

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The Jordan Peterson movement

Jordan Peterson is an old friend of this blog, which I’m sure he reads, even though for obvious PR reasons he can’t quite admit to the fact. Mr. Peterson is getting increasing amounts of mainstream attention after he utterly and completely destroyed some dumb journo British woman a couple of weeks ago.

 

I won’t pull the hipster move of saying I was into Peterson before he was cool. But I have written quite a lot about the man, his ideas, and why he’s so popular. Do check it out.

In short, the reason why Peterson is so successful is that he’s selling a single proposition. It’s OK to be Christian. More precisely, he’s selling It’s OK to be a White, Christian Man. That is of course a revolutionary slogan, as White Christian men are the officially most low-status people in the West. They’re not even just deprivated, they’re the enemy of the state. Not just low, positively evil. Well,  we know that selling hope and validation to low-status people is very good business. And as it happens, the low status of White Christian Men is not the result of any natural law, but the highly unnatural result of a centuries old political endeavor. Peterson slightly hints at that. Just pull yourselves together, White Christian Men, and you’ll be the ruling class again. Nature Says So.

Anyway, the mainstream media has started to notice our good Dr. Peterson. That is not good. It’s good short term, in that some sympathetic people will find them and give him money. But mid term it’s very bad. The hornet nest won’t allow anyone to give hope to White Christian Men. Some trolls in the US printed some fliers across the country saying: It’s OK to be White. It went to every single Cathedral outlet and the response was unanimous: Nazis! It’s most positively NOT OK to be White in the Current Year. So it follows that someone is going to come down on Jordan Peterson like a ton of bricks. And eventually someone smarter or more resourceful than the Channel 4 broad will be put in charge of taking Peterson down.

I wonder what it will be. Some fabricated (or not) #metoo scandal? Surely plenty of nubile co-eds have thrown themselves at their handsome alpha professor over the years. Accusations of racism? They’ve already found an old Tweet of him making a (pretty accurate) race joke. Maybe that sticks.

The question is what he will do later. Apologize? We all know where that leads to. Instant death. Mr. Peterson is walking a very thin rope here. Conquest’s Second Law is very clear: Anything that isn’t explicitly right wing turns left-win over time. Will Peterson cuck down and submit? Or will he stand on his feet and fight back as the leader of the deprived young Christian masses?

Leninism and Bioleninism

Happy New Year everyone. I left a bit of a cliffhanger on my last post, which I intended to resolve in a few days, but I’ve been pretty busy, not really in the mood to write long form.

I am sorry about that, but do note, this blog is a free service, so I hope you understand it doesn’t quite take the priority of my time. Again, there’s a Bitcoin address at the sidebar, so if you want me to write more, I’m sure we can arrange something.

2017 has been a quite eventful year. I guess the overall mood was disappointment. Trump didn’t get anything done. Doesn’t seem like he’ll ever get anything done. Europe slowed down the refugee invasion but not by much. And China has realized that AI makes state control so much easier. It’s showing the way in censorship and crowd control. All China is doing will be done on the West in a few years, with the aggravating factor that Western states will use Orwellian tools to jack up Bioleninism.

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Bioleninism, the first step

Some things I said in Twitter yesterday. Man, 280 characters feel *way* better.

Bronze Age warfare used to be about great lords going around in their chariots, shooting arrows here and there, then getting on foot and engaging in Single Combat. Early Samurais also did that. They’d go around on their horses, shouting who they were, their house, their pedigree.

But eventually somebody figured out that winning a war is really profitable. So they’d just raise a big army of common people, give them cheap weapons, a cheap shield, drill them into having rock-tight discipline. And they’d won. A disciplined team always wins against the most talented man.

The theory of democracy was that rich people, with the leisure to educate themselves about public policy, and a financial interest in the government of the nation, would run for individual office, represent their constituency, be reelected if they did their job well, replaced if they didn’t. But laws are passed by majority vote. Soon somebody realized that getting a majority vote was very profitable; so the money was in finding a way to reliably organize half the parliament. So we got political parties.

A political party is a very different beast from an individual politician. A political party has no use for rich people. Well their money is welcome: but rich people tend to not be very loyal. They can afford to have a personality. As a political leader, politicians are your employees. You don’t need staff who’s very skilled or competent. They just need to be loyal, obedient, and have some ability to get elected. It helps if they can talk. Look good on TV. But that’s about it.

You want people who are loyal, who will vote what you want them to vote. As Roissy would tell you, a man, or a woman, is only as loyal as his options. So the ideal politician is the man who doesn’t have anything else going on for him. Someone for whom being a politician is the best thing that ever happened to him. Somebody who positively known that if he ever leaves the party his status would drop. Marco Rubio, say. He’ll play ball. He better.

Any system ruled by political parties will always move to the left. Their business model is based on getting low status people to work for them. Obviously they must give them something in exchange. And they must motivate voters to vote for them. Their promise is simple: You, low status people, help us out, vote for us, obey our commands, and we will give you high status. Don’t vote for us, disobey us, let the right win, and you will remain low status.

Once the left wins, which it always does, because they are better organized, better able to form majorities in comparison to rich pricks who have no good reason to coordinate. High status people have been in the losing side in politics for 300 years. So what? They’re still rich. Life is good. Yeah taxes are higher. And women are incomparably more annoying. But they put out better now, so there’s that. Anyway, who cares. The Son also Rises.

The left always wins. But once they win they become higher status. Come on, they got power. They try, very hard, to convince everyone that they’re not really in power. No, the forces of reaction are lurking everywhere! We must keep on the struggle! 80% of the Left’s energy is in producing propaganda about how the Right really runs everything. When the Left had 90% tax rates, they still talked as if they were in Charles Dickens world. After 60 years of feminism, affirmative action, and Jews in all resorts of power the Left of 2017 is obsessed with “systemic racism”, “toxic masculinity” and “anti-semitism”. Right.

But of course the Left has been in power for 200 years now. Once they got power, they got enjoyed their hardly fought high status. Naturally they lost discipline, until a party further Left appeared, and then won. And so on and so forth. Cthulhu always swims left. That’s where power is.

First they captured the electoral system. Arguably it’s the easier one. But power is not only in parliament. Separation of powers is, or at least was, real. A Parliament can pass a law. The Executive could delay or outright ignore its execution. A judge could find or make up some flaw in the law and block it. It is of no use to have a legislative majority, having the ability to pass laws at will, if you can’t effectively put them into practice. Power is absolute power or it is no power at all.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And there is always someone with a will to power. Eventually the Left found a way. Well, two ways. Stay tuned.

 

Live hard, die young

And leave a beautiful corpse. No, I’m not gonna quit blogging. Ever. But if I did, this would be good timing. Biological Leninism has been the most read post in this blog, by quite a lot. Thank you everyone who liked it, to those who linked to me, and to those who have gone crazy in Twitter about it. I even got a brain meme about it.

It’s kinda hard to follow up on the post though, given the impact. I have half a dozen drafts but I’m not quite satisfied with any of them. Yeah I know, the perfect is the enemy of the good, but the key to influence is good writing, and I want to get it just right. The drafts also had this tendency to go over 5,000 words. Maybe I should really just write a book about it. I do have this talent for just letting things ferment in my brain and suddenly finding a way to be very concise about it after a few weeks. So here’s hoping.

Somebody asked about giving me money, which I’m always glad to hear. But I don’t want to give my real name to Patreon, nor anyone really, so unless there’s any way of accepting donations anonymously, I am sticking to Bitcoin. If you’d rather not spend your precious Bitcoins but you have any other cryptos, I’m glad to accept those too, just let me know what you got and I’ll open a wallet somewhere.

Incidentally I’ve been preparing to move the blog to my own domain; but I’ll postpone the official move to the New Year. I’m still open to suggestions about design stuff.

And also, I’m back on Twitter. You can follow me on https://twitter.com/thespandrell

Can’t say I have much to comment about this last month. There’s some purge going on in the US among the left, with “sexual misconduct” as the excuse. There’s this Chinese saying: 欲加之罪何患無辭. If you want to condemn someone, there’s always an excuse. At least the Chinese didn’t think sexual misconduct was enough reason to fire someone. Well, Zhu Xi kinda tried that one, but it didn’t quite work out. There’s this argument about Chinese courts adopting Neoconfucianism, which was a bunch of gobbledygook puritanical philosophy, precisely because its puritanism gave the court a set of easy excuses to fire bureaucrats at will. Unrealistic moral standards are the crabs of State Formation. Statist Carcinization. So now go on stop being sexist and racist.

 

Biological Leninism

It’s 100 years now since the Russian Revolution. The Soviet Union. Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Leninism. It’s been 100 years already, but you realize how present the whole thing remains when you look at the press these days. People are still praising or damning the revolution. As if it mattered anymore. As if it were something more than history. As if the left and right of today had remotely anything in common with the left and right of Lenin’s day.

I won’t praise Lenin, an evil man. But great men are often quite evil. I’m not very interested in Lenin, the man; but I’m very interested in Leninism. Lenin is very dead (if not yet buried, I wonder what Putin is waiting for); but Leninism is quite alive. And the Western press has just realized that China, the second power in the world, in place to become the first in a few years, is a Leninist state. It’s taken 5 years of Xi Jinping shouting every day about the Leninist orthodoxy of the Communist Party of China for people to realize. Now the West is scared.

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Soldiers

This is the US Air force in Japan, receiving their commander Donald Trump

These are freaking soldiers. Holding, to a man, holding their phones to record the speech. Like teenagers on a Justin Bieber concert. Like old housewives listening to Hillary Clinton. Fucking Soldiers of the Biggest Empire in the Fucking World. The occupation garrison in a very important vassal. Can’t even stand still like men and listen to their commander in chief.

Sad. Just sad. And Trump should be ashamed of himself for not telling them to put down their damn phones. Very sad.

Skin in the game

Choose your side, 2

Here’s one side:

 

Here’s the other side:

 

(here’s part 1)

“Women in Tech”

Follow this guy, by the way. Great stuff.